London Turned Upside Down In New Map

By M@

Last Updated 10 July 2024

London Turned Upside Down In New Map
London upside down

It's the world turned upside down... or at least the capital.

This new map from Urban Good commits mind-bending, glorious heresy by placing south London at the top and north London below the river. It is an absolute headf*ck... but in a grin-inducing way.

Holding map
Image: Matt Brown

"Why not just buy a normal map and turn it upside-down?" is the obvious question. Well, you could. But then all the labels would be the wrong way up. Charlie Peel of Urban Good drew the map from scratch and added each label in the correct orientation.

The result, called London Flipped, covers the whole of Greater London in 1 inch to 1 mile scale. It probably won't help you navigate your way around London, but it will make you consider the city in a different way. Charlie's map is 100% as geographically accurate as any other map of London, it simply plays with the established conventions about which way is up.

A map of London upside down
The fold-out-map also includes a smaller-scale image of the 32 boroughs of London upside-down. Loving the Essex-Surrey house swap.

Of course, many other maps shy away from putting north at the top. The familiar 'legible London' maps found on the streets all over London place the direction the viewer is facing at the top, to help onward progression. But these are small-scale maps of local areas. London Flipped is the first printed chart to show all of London inverted.

London Flipped is drawn with a distinctive colour palate of orange, blue and brown. The bright orange particularly stands out, giving emphasis to parks and green spaces. It's a worthy follow-on to Charlie's earlier map of Green London, produced in partnership with London National Park City.

Flipped London is a delicious re-anchoring of the city which plays with our deep-seated notions of how information should be presented. Even so, it's only one of an infinite number of possible orientations, any of which would be equally valid. We'd like to see, for example, a version where the Thames flows straight down, to drain out of the bottom of the map.

London Flipped is available now from Urban Good as either a fold-out map or a limited-edition poster.